Round-up: Hopkins makes move; McGinley honoured; Loftus struggles
Royal Dublin amateur Jeff Hopkins had a good day at the Sunshine Tour Q-School on Thursday. Archive picture by Pat Cashman

Royal Dublin amateur Jeff Hopkins had a good day at the Sunshine Tour Q-School on Thursday. Archive picture by Pat Cashman

Sunshine Tour — As Jeff Hopkins moved up, Tim Rice shot a level par 72 to fall from tied 10th to 21st after the third round of the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School in South Africa.

The 38-year old Limerick man started on the 10th at Schoeman Park Golf Club but after following an early bogey at the 11th with a birdie at the 13th and an eagle three at the 15th, he bogeyed the 17th and 18th to turn in level par and then made two birdies and two bogeys on his homeward nine.


At four under par, Rice is a shot inside the top 30 who will win Sunshine Tour cards after five rounds and five strokes inside the top 70 and ties who make the 72-hole cut on Friday.

Botswana's Stuart Smith fired his lowest round on the Sunshine Tour, a bogey-free 10-under-par 62 at Schoeman Park Golf Club, to lead by two strokes from South Africa's Bryandrew Roelofsz on 15 under par.

Royal Dublin amateur Hopkins shot a two under 70 at Schoeman Park to move up to tied 38th on two under, a shot outside the qualifying mark with clubmate Shaun Carter's 75 at Bloemfontein Golf Club leaving him tied 146th on eight over.

Northern Ireland's John McClean is tied 58th on level par after a 73 on the at Bloemfontein.

McGinley honoured by Queens University

Queens University — An honorary degree has been presented to golfer Paul McGinley at Queen’s University in Belfast.
The Dublin-born former Ryder Cup captain was given the award on Thursday in recognition of his distinction in sport. 
McGinley said: “Queen's has a great sporting tradition and as one of the UK and Ireland's leading Universities they have always been at the forefront of sporting provision and opportunities. To receive this recognition from such a prestigious university is a considerable honour."

Alps Tour Q-School

Alps Tour — Former Irish Intervarsity champion Declan Loftus had a day to forget in the first round of the Alps Tour Qualifying School at La Cala Resort in Spain.

Winner of the Irish title with Maynooth University in 2014, Loftus shot a nine over 81 on the Asia Course in his First Stage qualifier but is just three shots outside the top 41 who qualify for next week's final stage.

A field of 155 is balling over three courses at  La Cala Resort with England’s Ollie Roberts (68) leading on Europa  by two strokes from countryman Nick McCarthy.

On the Asia course, England’s James Adams and France’s Victor Perez, share the lead on 69 while at the America course, Scotland’s John Gallagher took a two-stroke lead thanks to three-under 69.